Friday, May 30, 2014

Day 21: to Haute Clocher (France; 55k; 1167k total)

The last supper with Katy and Ed was comic: turning the wrong way out of the campsite we trudged along an endless road past a closed supermarket and ended up at a ring road McDonalds. Katy is an ethical eater and a vegetarian - McDs in France doesn't even sell a veggie burger. But it does sell beer and after a couple of those her dinner of salad, chips and ice cream seemed bearable. (Ed and I eat almost anything, of course). The experience was enlivened by a) more free wifi, and b) a pair of drug dealers getting discretely arrested.

Breakfast this morning - our final final meal together- was a lot more exciting. The reopened supermarket had a great bakery and we scoffed shocking amounts of fresh croissants and pain au chocolat etc. When in France...

Then we went our separate ways. Today for me was a lovely 35k along scenic peaceful canals, bookended by 10k hilly slogs on slightly too busy roads. This resulted in a rather shorter than expected day, due to a very effective shortcut, but I find myself pretty tired despite all, so am happy to have one.

The canals were amazing, much of it was nature reserve of various kinds and I saw just a handful of cyclists, a handful of fishermen and a handful of boaters all day. About twenty locks though, it must be a very effortful stretch to go through by boat. Where there wasn't wetland there was very old beech forest, with villages from the Middle Ages (says the tourist info signs).

One kilometre from my hotel, a funny sight: 25 Norwegians in a field!

My hotel is another convent - not apparently functioning as one but peaceful and with a super garden. A bed and an en suite feel very luxurious after a whole week of camping!

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